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June 17, 2010

SafeFood© Grilling


Fire up the grill – it’s summer! Grilling (think of Kenny Chesney singing Chilling) is the thing to do. Every magazine I have scanned lately seems to have a feature on outdoor grilling. And why not – it is easy and really adds a good flavor to the food. But how do you know when meats are done? Looks, taste, feel? Research has shown that even hamburgers without any pink can be at a temperature lower than what is needed to kill E Coli O157:H7 – so really, best way to tell if meat is cooked is to use a thermometer (one that is calibrated!). Thermometers can be a grill guy’s best friend to avoid undercooking (people can get sick) or overcooking (meat doesn’t taste too good). How do you remember the temperatures to cook products? You don’t! Download the new app with end point grill temps FREE from www.iowafoodsafety.org
Use those thermometers folks and grill away!

June 07, 2010

SafeFood© Outdoors

The start of summer has arrived! Dig out the white shoes and fire up the grill! This is the time of year we like to spend outdoors – especially those of us in cold weather climates. We can’t get enough! Spring and summer is a time of renewal and hope – with much of the fun spent outdoors. Part of the outdoor fun involves picnics (channel Yogi Bear: Where is the pic –ik – nic basket?)
Maybe more importantly – what is IN the picnic basket? We food safety folks do a lot of hoping during picnic seasons. Hopefully cold food is toted in a cooler stocked with ice. Hopefully raw meats are kept separate from foods that won’t be cooked. Hopefully the cooler isn’t opened every two seconds (this warms up the temperature so put cold drinks in their own cooler). Hopefully there is running water with soap around for handwashing (if not, use sanitizer or better yet, bring your own soapy dishcloth in a zip lock bag). Yes there are risks, but do what you can to keep to a minimum. Viva la summer!

June 01, 2010

SafeFood© Salute!

Memorial Day – the official start of summer. It is also a day to reflect on those who have passed away; many of whom did so in service for our country. I am thankful to these brave men and women who have protected our way of life here in the USA. Because of them, we can enjoy Memorial Day picnics. It occurred to me that there are many within the military who work diligently every day within the foodservice system to ensure nutritious and safe meals are served to our soldiers. No easy task given war zone conditions. Thanks to you for your efforts. The ISU Food Safety Project works with others in ISU Extension on activities for military families; but we would also like to provide assistance to soldiers and support staff in the field. Please contact me as to how we can help - what types of educational materials or safe food handling resources can help you continue your efforts. We are ready to serve!.